Tag Alongby Tom Ryan
It's junior prom night. Andrea is grounded for getting her older brother to buy booze for her, Paul is having panic attacks, Roemi has been stood up by his Internet date, and Candace is busy tagging a building (before she gets collared by a particularly tenacious cop). By happenstance, the four near-strangers end up together, getting into more trouble, arguing and… See more details below
It's junior prom night. Andrea is grounded for getting her older brother to buy booze for her, Paul is having panic attacks, Roemi has been stood up by his Internet date, and Candace is busy tagging a building (before she gets collared by a particularly tenacious cop). By happenstance, the four near-strangers end up together, getting into more trouble, arguing and ultimately helping each other out over the course of eight madcap hours.
It's prom night, and four teens' plans for the evening are about to get hijacked. Andrea is a high achiever who gets grounded when her mom finds an alcoholic beverage in her closet. So unfair. Candace is just staying with her dad and stepmom for the weekend, but it's prom back in her city world, which is so not her thing. Now tagging is, and she's got plans to make her mark. Roemi's date is going to help him be one of the first gay couples at prom, and while he knows there'll be a hassle, he doesn't care. It's just exciting to actually meet John after all their online messages. And then there's Paul, who is the popular jock being led around by the nose by cool girl Lannie. Their plans have been carefully calibrated to make the maximum impact, but when Paul has one of his panic attacks, he's grateful that his mom covers for him. Well, not grateful that she claims he has diarrhea but glad to be off the hook. They all manage to meet, get connected and ultimately have a prom night that is far more memorable than their original plans. Ryan never goes over the top as he unfurls the story, alternating the voices of the four teens, but exciting events occur, and the gradual jelling of the group is completely believable. A regular kid's prom, minus the limo but with enough drama to satisfy. (Fiction. 11-16)
Gr 7 Up—In this The Breakfast Club-esque novel, four teens with little in common find their destinies intertwined on the night of their junior prom. Andrea, a goody-two-shoes, is grounded and no longer able to attend the big bash after her mom discovers wine coolers in the bottom of her closet. Across the street, Paul's panic attacks are back, and he's too afraid to let his self-involved, popular girlfriend, Lannie, know about them. Thankfully, his understanding mom gets him off the hook by telling Lannie that Paul has diarrhea, which is somehow less embarrassing. Meanwhile, hilarious, flashy Roemi has rented a tuxedo and is ready to make school history by going to the prom with another guy, with whom he has been chatting online and is finally going to meet in the flesh. Unfortunately, he gets stood up. Finally, there's Candace, who goes to school in the city and is just hanging out in the suburbs, doing graffiti, and avoiding the police. These teens end up together in a SUV and have a memorable night, getting one another out of trouble and, through their new friendship, gaining the confidence they need to stand up for themselves. Each character ultimately finds happiness and a solution to his or her problems. Despite the cheesy aspects, readers will enjoy this feel-good story.—Lindsay Klemas, JM Rapport School for Career Development, Bronx, NY
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